Campy EPS is about SRAM

Getting over my “servo-motor meh” about Campy EPS to write something and it’s this from an earlier tweet. Retweet

It’s a long way from a media launch in Sicily to a bike shop near you. Campy’s success is tied to local bike shop mechanics, they working that channel?

There’s an Elephant Graveyard for Bikes and kit from failed launches, cause the companies and the industry didn’t vet it with the bike-shop gatekeepers. Campy’s electronic shifting could install itself and warn you with a text message when the chain is about to fail. Not without the support of your mechanic, it won’t.

After a Jungle Pedicure, Tarzan take Jane to Bike Graveyard where servo motors are worth their weight in ivory

This opinion has nothing to do with a platform choice. Drivetrains works so well these days, at the high end, it doesn’t matter which you pick – it’s a matter of what you like and, ya know, “do what’cha like.”

I’m talking ‘bout how Campy’s relevance waned with their decisions to require, special and super expensive tools and relegate themselves to the disposable income bracket. They also don’t play well with others, so you’re not just switching wheels and cassettes back and forth, like I do now between Shimano and “all-caps” SRAM. Mac and PCs play better together. Campy pwns your bike at a cost higher than Di2. Their tagline could be, “for the 1%.”

Despite the cost and extravagance, it’ll sell from mail order, a few high-end shops, and Euro-equipped bikes we’ll never see cross the pond and arrive here in the States.

I’m sure it works great too. I raced on an Di2-equipped Felt at CrossVegas and was unable to break it (I tried repeatedly, just like rodding the piss out of rental car out of the Vegas airport and to the hotel), but I still can’t justify the price. Even though, I was amazed at how well it shifted under maximum, muddy, grass load.

The economics of the industry have put Shimano and Campy at the high end of the market fighting for the mindshare of those that can or want to afford it. Meanwhile SRAM serves the working man and woman at the local level.

So when SRAM does servo-motors, electronic shifting will matter to a broader market, cause they’ll deliver it OEM and on schedules that’ll match product manager’s needs. The success of SRAM wasn’t and isn’t specific to it’s loud, aggressive shift style, it’s because they ship.

Carbon-wrapped servo motors, like an Area 51, alien-tech, vibrator for your bike Photo: Campy

Then, you’ll see electric drivetrains at the Tuesday Worlds and the Cat 4 Masters Cross race. Just look at that all-carbon shifter with motors in it! Consider what it’ll cost to replace it or that it doesn’t work with all your wheels.

More importantly, how quick you can get a replacement, when you crash into turn 1 of your local crit. Shimano has notorious problems with Di2 availability, even though they’ve banked the company on it.

Campy EPS is like this automatic wine bottler opener. You don’t need it, the mechanical “rabbit” works really well, but you want it. Right? Photo: Brookstone

So, I said what I wanted to. Do you want it? Scouring the web now for the first available one and placed a pre-order at your shop?



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